According to ESPN, rookie power forward and man from down under Jonah Bolden has come off his second Summer League with the Philadelphia 76ers with a four-year, $7 million contract, including team options for the last two seasons. The Sixers traded Richaun Holmes to the Phoenix Suns to clear the way for Bolden.
The former UCLA Bruin was born in Melbourne and raised in Sydney. Bolden, who is said to be versatile enough to guard multiple positions on defense as well as play both high and low on offense, has played with Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Israeli Premier League since 2017, when he was originally drafted by the 76ers with the 36th overall pick.
ESPN points out that the “versatile big man” averaged 6.9 ppg and 5.5 rpg last season in Israel, and 6.5 points and 6 rebounds per game during the Summer League. Fansided reports that “in 29 Euroleague games last season, Bolden shot 31.9 percent on 2.5 three-point attempts per game.”
Fox News notes that Bolden’s career is likely to follow that of his fellow Australian, Joe Ingles, who won a 2014 Euroleague Championship with Maccabi.
Bolden posted to Twitter yesterday afternoon.
According to the Philly Inquirer, former 76ers general manager, Bryan Colangelo anticipated this move as early as May of this year. Colangelo speaks highly of Bolden’s skills, calling him a “modern-day big.”
“[He]can play multiple positions, guard multiple positions. Can step out and shoot a three. His shooting numbers have gone down a little bit this year, but that we don’t believe is an indication of who he is as a player or a shooter. He’s a grab-and-go guy. He can rebound the ball very well instinctively. Can handle it in transition, make good decisions. You don’t want to put him in that situation every day, but he’s a grab-and-go guy that can move the basketball.”
Daniel Moldavan reacted to the news on Twitter.
The Inquirer notes that the Sixers have more potential trades in the works. They formerly agreed to acquire Mike Muscala from Atlanta in a three-team trade, but reportedly this will not happen immediately due to the team working on “another move.” Oklahoma City is seeing some action as the Sixers plan to shift swingman Justin Anderson to the Hawks, and shooting guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will go to the Thunder.
With Ben Simmons already on the Sixer’s roster, this makes two Australians on the team. The NBA season begins in mid-October.